March 21st is a special day for me, my family and so many others. It’s World Down Syndrome Day which encourages friends all over the world to do random acts of kindness to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a huge role in our lives and communities.
My family welcomed Graham RJ into this world four years ago. I will never forget that day. My sister delivered him within 20 minutes of arriving to the hospital in her sundress! I left work to go meet my newest nephew and I remember us all looking over him as he laid swaddled in the hospital bed. We marveled at his cuteness and how he was such a chill baby. It never occurred to us how special God made him. That is, until the doctor came in the next day and informed my sister that Graham showed a couple physical characteristics of having Down syndrome and that they’d like to do additional testing to be certain. Later that week, we received the news that Graham had an extra copy of his 21st chromosome.
The Kansas City Down Syndrome Guild reached out to my sister instantly and welcomed my whole family with open arms. Their support, educational resources and inspiration was unbelievable.
Graham has brought us more joy and fullness than we ever could have anticipated. He is brave, adventurous, and (most certainly) loving.
We celebrate him and all those with Down syndrome on this day (3-21) because they have a third copy of their 21st chromosome! You could say it’s an EXTRA special day because kids like Graham literally have “extra” — extra love, extra kindness, extra forgiveness, extra hugs, and even some extra stubbornness occasionally. 🙂
Join me and many others today by being extra KIND! Whether that’s holding the door open a little bit longer or buying someone’s coffee, I hope you can help us generate awareness and acceptance within your community.
For more information on how you can support the Kansas City Down Syndrome Guild, please visit www.kcdsg.org.